2005 Menu Development Survey: Dishing it out

Many of the largest organizations in foodservice have revamped, overhauled or otherwise upgraded their menus in recent years.

On display: Lastly, the FSD Menu Development Study focuses on display cooking, added because more and more operators are bringing their chefs out of the kitchen and placing them either right on the serving line or in a dedicated station in the main dining room. It’s an effort to get the customer more involved in the meal process and engage them in their meal service so that they feel more a part of it and that it can meet their needs.

One-third of operators say they are involved with display cooking at the moment, yet 85% think it’s a necessary part of non-commercial dining today. Higher-volume operations are more likely to offer display cooking—led by colleges and universities (75%).

Those who provide display cooking set-ups usually have more than one display cooking station—an average of 2.6—available on a regular basis. More of them exist in higher-volume operations where display cooking not only gets the customer involved but also helps alleviate lines and wait times at other serving stations.

Nearly half of those doing display cooking offer it on a daily basis, while the rest offer display cooking at least once a week, or more.

Sales boost: How do you gauge the impact display cooking will have on your business? The FSD study shows that 60% of those involved with display cooking say customer volume increases on display days, to the tune of about 13% in sales.

Another consideration is cost—and while some operators say it costs an average 13% more to run a display cooking station compared to permanent serving counter, more than half of all operators see no significant extra expense when doing it.

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